Dogwood 2018 Photography Challenge: Weeks 1-4

And we’re back! We’ve got a much bigger group for Dogwood 2018, which is exciting. You can check out all the challenges to come (and join in yourself!) here. Let me know if you’re also taking the challenge – would love to see your images!

Week 1 – Vision: Look Ahead [Shot with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM]
New year. New beginnings. New you. Look ahead. Interpret as you wish.

I was struggling to get this one in at the last minute, and finally staged a self-portrait shoot inspired by the idea of moving towards the light as we head into the New Year. I wish the focus was a little better, but am happy with the overall effect.

Dogwood 2018 Week 1

Week 2 – Composition: Color Harmony [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
Get out your color wheel. Do opposites attract? Can there be harmony with opposite colors? Does the Hulk wear purple pants? Mix warm and cool colors. Continue reading

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Eating In: Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

I know, technically it’s not supposed to be pie season anymore. It’s supposed to be salads and kale and gym season. But it’s cold out (even in LA…at least in the mornings and evenings) and the oven is warm and pie is SO GOOD. So good, you guys!

So find an occasion that won’t leave you with a whole pie in the house whispering “eat me for breakfast” every day (do anyone else’s pies do that?), and go make Joy the Baker‘s Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie.

Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie

The pie begins with, of course, pie crust. I thought this was a pretty good and quite easy crust – not the absolute best crust I’ve ever had, but very tasty and a good texture. It’s always good to remember that pie crusts need time to chill, so start them in advance. Continue reading

Backyard Brunching

The Boy made a New Year’s resolution last year to host a “dinner party” once a month – basically that means we had to have people over and provide food. Preferably that we cooked. Normally, I was far too harried before these events to take a single photo, and then too busy hosting during them, but I did manage to capture a few pictures of a lovely outdoor brunch we hosted in service to this resolution and figured I’d share with you all.

Brunch Table

A friend and attendee (bless her), offered to do the table, which was our dining room table dragged outside under a tree. She put together a gorgeous blue palate, which I’m sorry I didn’t capture before we’d scattered glasses all over it. Oh well. Continue reading

Dogwood 2017 Photography Challenge: Weeks 48-52

Here it is! My final five photos of the Dogwood 2017 Photography Challenge. Next up – 2018.

Week 48 – Artistic: Bodyscape [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
The human form has been the study of art since art was first inspired. Your inspiration this week is the human body.

I later realized I think this challenge was meant to elicit a photo of a body looking like a landscape, but oh well – instead, mine is a self-portrait of sorts highlighting the silhouette of a body. I sort of like the fact that it seems to tell a story.

Dogwood Week 48

Week 49 – Story: Blue Hour [Shot with Canon EF 75-300mm/f4-5.6]
The Blue Hour is the hour after sunset or the hour before sunrise when the sky is dominated by amazing blue and purple hues. Use this to tell your story this week. Continue reading

Dogwood 2017 Photography Challenge: Weeks 43-47

Hi! I’m back. I’ve noticed I have a tendency to fall off the blogging train when everything turns to madness at the end of the year (does that happen to anyone else?). Maybe one day I’ll be smart enough to get ahead of that, but then…maybe not. Oh well!

The point is, I’m back now, and catching you up on the rest of the 2017 Dogwood Photography Challenge (which I totally completed – woo hoo!). I’ll be posting the rest in two posts, then moving on to catch you up with the 2018 rendition, which is already going full steam ahead. I love this challenge, which my friend Mike got started for us, and this year we have even more people participating, which is awesome. It’s a great way to exercise your photography skills regardless of skill level. Anyway…on to the photos!

Week 43 – Story: Movement [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
Capturing and creating movement in a still photo is a challenge for every photographer. Use movement this week to tell a story.

This was hard, especially as it was Halloween week and I was consumed with getting my costume in order. In the end, the swirling lights of a disco ball worked well enough, but I wish I’d been able to get more of the essence of this challenge.

Dogwood Week 43

Week 44 – Technical: Magic ND Filter [Shot with Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM]
Use an ND filter combined with a shutter speed of 30 seconds or even longer to create your image. Try a waterscape or even a busy landmark to see the magic happen. Continue reading

Eating Out: A-Frame

Brunch: the best meal, because everyone can get what they want. Sweet, savory, it’s got it all. So, when someone proposes brunch, I tend to be in. And that’s how we ended up at A-Frame for brunch just a couple of weekends ago.

A-Frame, for those not in the know, is part of Roy Choi’s restaurant empire, housed in an old Wienerschnitzel (or so the story goes – I think it’s true) that’s been converted into a bright Hawaiian “diner.” Hearty meals await, especially at brunch, when unlimited pancakes and unlimited beverages call to the hungry and hungover.

Lilikoi and Chicken Pancakes

Continue reading

‘Tis the Season: Happy Halloween!

Official Halloween is in three days, but it’s Halloween party weekend this weekend, so let’s celebrate! My costume for tonight, of course, is not quite done, but I realized I don’t think I’ve ever shown off last year’s triumph – the “Snow Queen” (or, if you want more of a pop culture reference, you can call it “Winter” from Game of Thrones).

The Snow Queen

As is often the case with my costumes, this was a full-on DIY, so I’ll walk you through a few of the main elements. Continue reading

Eating In: Kale “Nacho” Bowl

As you know, there’s nothing I love more than a good bowl for dinner. So, when I spotted Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Kale Chip Nachos, I was intrigued – and promptly bowl-ified it.

Kale "Nacho" Bowl

My favorite thing about bowls is that they’re infinitely customizable – making them (1) very easy to make fit your own preferences and (2) very easy to adapt to what’s already in your fridge (or lacking from it). This bowl takes a particularly healthy turn with a base of crispy kale “chips,” dusted with spices and nutritional yeast. Continue reading